Two Heroes Embrace During Emotional Candlelight Vigil
A community lost so much in the horrific church shooting in Texas — but the strength of the faithful continues to move a nation
Residents of the small town of Sutherland Springs, Texas, remain numb following Sunday’s mass shooting at their church, in which the lives of 26 individuals — the young and the old — were cruelly and tragically snuffed out.
Two citizens of that town are now being hailed as heroes, as they did not hesitate to take on the gunman.
Stephen Willeford and Johnnie Langendorff both jumped into action without any thought for their own safety or well-being.
"He jumped in my truck and said, 'He just shot up the church, we need to go get him.' And I said, 'Let's go,'" Johnnie Langendorff, who is 27, told the Associated Press on Monday of his fellow hero.
"I think my God, my Lord, protected me and gave me the skills to do what needed to be done ... and I just wish I could've gotten there faster. But I didn't know, I didn't know what was happening," said Stephen Willeford, 55, in his first televised interview. He is still extremely emotional and does not consider himself a hero or want to be thought of that way.
"I kept hearing the shots, one after another, very rapid shots — just 'pop! pop! pop! pop!' — and I knew every one of those shots represented someone, that it was aimed at someone, that they weren't just random shots," Willeford told a local news station.
On Tuesday night, the community gathered for a candlelight vigil — where the two heroes embraced. Check out the beautiful moment below:
The faith and strength of the community of Sutherland Springs continue to move the nation. The community lost 4 percent of its entire population in the attack. Yet through the initial media firestorm and the continued shock over the horror that occurred, this community has stood in faith together — and will continue to for sure.